Wales ‘specialise in getting players sent off’
REACTION: France coach Fabien Galthie accused Wales of specialising in getting opposition players sent off after Paul Willemse received a red card in the Six Nations match between the two sides in Paris.
Willemse was red-carded in the 68th minute after making contact with the eye of Wales prop Wyn Jones in the 32-30 victory at the Stade de France.
The win keeps Les Bleus in the title hunt ahead of their coronavirus-delayed match at home to Scotland on Friday.
Speaking after the match Galthie said the Montpellier forward, who is a major doubt for Friday’s match, was innocent in the incident.
“I don’t think he deserves a heavy sanction. I think he deserves leniency,” Galthie said.
“When you look at the images for me there’s no contact. If there is contact then it’s minimal. It’s definitely not intentional,” he added.
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Willemse became the third player to be sent off against Wales in this year’s Championship.
“You see the way the Welsh are specialists in red cards, and can specialise in opposition red cards. They play their part and the Welsh body language,” Galthie said.
“I don’t see at what point Paul Willemse deserves to be sanctioned for doing that,” he added.
Second-row Romain Taofifenua and fly-half Matthieu Jalibert left the field during the first half with injuries.
“Romain has a small knee sprain. Matthieu took a blow to the face. We preferred not to take risks. They’re doing well,” Galthie said.
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Meanwhile, France centre Gael Fickou said he is eyeing the “pinnacle” of a Six Nations title as they host Scotland on Friday.
Les Bleus need to score four tries or more and to win by 21 points in Paris to claim a first trophy since 2010.
France have faced next week’s visitors twice since Galthie took over as head coach following the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
They lost in last year’s Six Nations before winning in November’s Nations Cup.
“The pinnacle? I hope it will be next week,” Fickou said.
“They have been playing well for a few years now. Recently we’ve found it hard against them. It’s going to be difficult as we have to find enough points and win by enough to win the title,” he added.
The away side will arrive with a full-strength squad after an agreement was made between English clubs and the Six Nations about releasing players.
The fixture has been re-scheduled from February 26 outside the Test window after a Covid-19 outbreak in the France set-up.
Scotland captain Stuart Hogg, lock Jonny Gray and loose forward, who play for Exeter Chiefs are among those to benefit from the decision.
“We know it’s going to be a tough match. But we’ll take it step by step. Firstly, we have to win the game,” Fickou said.
“They have superb players. We have to concentrate on the win and then see,” he added.